Apologies all – this should’ve been up yesterday, but the eye mask I wear to bed to black out light put an eyelash or something in my left eye, rendering it unusable – it just ran tears all day, which made reading impossible. I know, sounds like a ridiculous excuse, doesn’t it? However, it’s worth waiting for, as I have a Q & A with one of the Queens Of Crime, Karin Slaughter. I’d actually started reading her from her very first book, Blindsighted, but was so annoyed when she killed off one of my favourite characters I took a hiatus from reading her books. However, I’ve eased back in with her standalones and can definitely see me catching up with the series at some point.
Anyway, it’s not me you want to hear from, it’s Karin, so here we go…
Slaughter is your real name, a lucky twist of fate or something that may have shaped you as a writer?
I suppose it’s a good thing I didn’t decide to write romances! It’s my real name, and I paid a heavy price for it as a kid. I was relentlessly teased in elementary school, and then I moved up to junior high and fortunately there were more important things to worry about. When I first got published, I never understood why people kept asking me if Slaughter was really my last name. I didn’t understand the connection they were making because it had just always been my name. Then, I was in the Piccadilly tube station going up one of those treacherous escalators and I saw this massive sign that said “SLAUGHTER” and I thought, “wow, that’s ominous,” and then I got closer and saw the tiny “Karin” above it and thought, “oohhhhh…”
What was your inspiration for The Good Daughter?
I really enjoyed writing about the sister relationship in Pretty Girls, my last standalone, and I wanted to do something more in that vein. I’m the youngest of three girls, and my parents loved me the most because I was the smartest and prettiest, but an author’s job is to get in the heads of every character they write about.
The point of writing a lot of books is to do something different each time, so when I thought of Charlie and Sam, it was almost in opposition to Claire and Lydia. I wanted Charlie to be a character I haven’t written about before. She’s highly competent, well-liked, and she makes mistakes, sometimes really stupid mistakes, but instead of trying to weasel around them, she owns them. Actually, she almost wears them as a badge of honor. That’s an interesting way to control the bad things that happen, but I don’t think it’s necessarily the best way. Sam, on the other hand, lives every single moment of her life in stark relief to the “what could have been.” She works very hard to define herself as having moved on, but everything she does is in opposition to that goal. Both sisters try to control things in their own way, and both fail in their own way, which is always fascinating to me. You know people by how they respond to adversity.
What does your writing day look like? Where do you write best?
When I’m ready to work on a story, I drive two hours outside of Atlanta to the Blue Ridge mountains, where I have a cabin that my father built for me. I wish I could say that I have a very balanced day when I’m working, but all I do is get up in the morning, start writing, then stop writing when I can’t see or think anymore. Sometimes, that can be 12 or 16 hours (with naps in between) and sometimes that can be four hours (with more naps) but I’ve always been better in isolation. I don’t understand how people can work in coffee shops or, worse, be in the middle of a chapter and just stop. I suppose part of it is my obsessive/compulsiveness. I’m completely incapable of not finishing something I start.
Well, I hope you all enjoyed that – look out for my review, which I’ll put up as soon as I’ve finished it, but from what I’ve read so far it’s non-stop action. Just fantastic!